Greetings, Christy! I notice you haven't been active at Atheist Nexus since Oct. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.
Hi, Christy -
Midland, wow. I grew up in Wichita and came here from Lincoln, NE, and can't imagine many places more unfriendly towards atheists, but I would suspect that Midland is one of them.
Portland is outstanding because of the cohesiveness of the atheist community (Although some persist in hiding behind the labels "agnostic" or "humanists," they're really atheists in everything but name.) There are more than 300 members of CFR (Center for Reason) with four area chapters for different parts of the metro area (east, central, west & Vancouver, WA). Check out Meetup.com and you’ll find other groups including Atheists, etc., and my meetup group, Flying Spaghetti Monster Lands for a Pint. All meet regularly for speakers (Sam Harris is coming to town; Dawkins has been here.), to discuss issues, picnics, brunch, etc. There’s significant overlap between the groups.
Oregon has one of the largest populations of “unchurched” people in the nation, 20+ percent. And while that doesn’t necessarily translate into atheists or agnostics, it does mean that the religious right lacks the influence here that it has in, say, Texas. Most of the unchurched are concentrated here in PDX, so the percentage is even higher.
I’ll tell you a story: Just after I arrived here in 2005, I was chatting up a bartender and mentioned that I was an atheist. “So am I,” she said. “Me, too,” said the guy sitting next to me.
Before I moved here, I also considered Seattle. I chose Portland because urban growth boundaries have prevented urban sprawl. It’s not just the lack of sprawl, but the progressive attitude that is willing to take on the kind of interests (builders, real estate) that typically run local government.
Be sure to check out meetup.com to learn more about the local atheist scene. E-mail me at email@example.com if you have more questions.
Best wishes - Jack
Hey Christy, you're telling me! It’s unbelievable the ignorance and intolerance in this town. I feel a change coming slowly though more than ever in the past. I truly can’t wait until I retire so I can start living a more truthful life. I plan on being more active in fighting this intolerance to make up for the years of sitting in a closet. It will be pretty darn surprising to many.
Hello Christy and welcome to this great meeting place with its thousands of freethinking friends who recognise how religions and fictional gods continue to deceive and control vulnerable people beginning with innocent children.